tv Book TV After Words CSPAN May 25, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
kagan reacted to that very well because there was of a discussion of judging you not always call us strike but he was very candid and he will point* to decisions where he has been a minimalist judge. not all the time but he would defend the decisions were he had not been minimalist as be leaving that is what the law are required. . .
a lot of people came away from that term saying oh, you know mr. moderation. so i think, i think the number of people misinterpreted that term of course and justice o'connor was sitting for the first half of it so there was a constraint there but to the extent that as marsh indicated he did vote in the minimalist way. he was getting rather savagely attacked by the right by justice scalia who excoriated him for you know focusing so was in a
rather short time we saw a different job -- john roberts and a different dynamic on the court. i think in response to what was going on, -- >> also in the area that the second term, the 2006 senate term was when they took up the seattle louisville's cool district case, very different term. a very divisive and many find for really said there were issues and i think he had rather firm views on it so you know they are not always consistent. they approach the law in different ways and they have different views. >> well, marcia coyle and linda greenhouse thank you so much for being with us tonight.
[applause] up next on booktv "after words" with guest host a.b. stoddard associate editor of the hill. this week former senator olympia snowe and her book "fighting for common ground." in it the moderate republican from maine explores the issues of how congress came to its current state of gridlock and what could be done to forge a greater spirit of cooperation and compromise. the program is about an hour. >> host: we are here today to talk about "fighting for common ground" we can fix the stalemate in congress with olympia snowe the senator from maine. i am a fan of your service and i want to start by thanking you for all that you did in the congress and i'm looking forward very much to what you are going
to do outside of the system. you actually, it's so interesting to read. i have read about you departing the congress of course but then when i read your book you called it the place of forced kirk and that you were leaving because you could no longer fulfill your responsibility as a problem solver and eight you were embarrassed by the 112th congress the bipartisan bickering and refusal to address the challenges facing america. you were compelled to leave and because you now hope that you can help correct the system from the outside rather from the -- then from the end. that is bad news obviously two people longtime watchers of the congress who felt like people like you needed to be in it and as you noted in your book bob schieffer of cbs said what is it
say about the state of our government and politics when people like olympia snowe conclude that serving in the senate is no longer worth their time and their concert should concern the rest of us. make your case for me and the viewers that you can actually in leaving, so few moderates at all in the congress try to change the system from the outside. i know everybody asked that question but it occurred to me what i was faced with this cold and stark reality with a question of whether or not it was going to change. so many people asked me that question in maine and across the country. it was over a short period of time that i plan to run for re-election, whether or not would change with the polarization would dissipate. i came to the conclusion regrettably that it would not
over the short-term. and that given the pronounced changes on the outside with campaigns, campaigns and campaign fund-raising and outside organizations that weighed in, the polarization of both of the political parties and certainly the changes going on in my own party and the republican party, i just didn't see how it would be sufficient to outweigh what would happen on the outside. i said if i could contribute the next six years in another way what would he? i decided i had to first reaffirm what people were feeling about congress and what can we do about it? now you are coming to generations of people and generations of lawmakers to think this is the way it is. >> host: for those of us who have been watching you for so
long, and in my case ripe for the republican revolution and 94, we have seen these changes. we felt them in the electronic media and the professionalization of politics, the mandate for fund-raising which is so different than those early days, the punishment of cooperation and compromise and the 24-hour news cycle. it is true that so many lawmakers have just gotten here so that is the process they know. you write in your book, i heard you in an interview where you talked about how when working from the outside there needs to be a grassroots effort to be a counterweight, and equal counterweight to the forces of extremism and he said these outside groups are an effort to divide so there has to be a tireless effort to unite. he said the way we make certain
that their real reward from bipartisanship so we can break what has become the equivalent of the parliament, how do we how do we defied a benefit and for war like you? >> guest: first of all obviously it's in the elections, most notably and they can demand bipartisanship and hold candidates and elected officials accountable. why aren't you working out a solution? swihart u.n. session working on the solution? what would you tend to do if you are elected about being bipartisan? are you going to work across party lines? force them to commit to the whole notion that they will work across the political aisle rather than having political standoffs and it is really to turn the tables. the forces of polarization, they are well-funded.
and they are well organized and so the same could be true if the vast population in this country demanded and insisted upon bipartisanship. and so it is to you now be a counterweight and it also is to change the incentives in the political system and reward those i voting for those candidates or those elected officials who are anti-vote against those who aren't. i think that is really important because people feel there is no control and they have no sense of control. we really do have to organize obviously but secondly each in our own communities know officeholders all the way up. it's also filtering down into local levels as well and just say what are you going to do to us solve a problem sitting round the table? imagine if everybody stood down
because they all did what they wanted in all spheres of life. no one would make a move. >> host: how are these candidates and officeholders going to be monitored if the forces that divide them monitoring them all the time, how can the supporters of bipartisanship a massive resources and organizations to keep track of a member who is not working across the aisle or who is to report them in primaries when they do, to punish them when they don't? how does that become, it's going to take money and passion. do you believe that the discussed is there, the outrage is there in the passion is there to force that kind of monitoring of politicians the way that those other interest due? guest. >> guest: first of all somebodies voting record is pretty easy these days and there a lot of analysis that are done by various groups on the hill and publications like the "national journal" has conducted
a number where you can easily garner that but also real-time on the issues that are pending before congress. that is critical because you say right now okay why are they developing a budget? why are they finalizinfinalizin g a budget? there is a good example of saying america doesn't have a budget cuts they just don't reconcile their differences so in real time they can communicate with social media, use social media for organization and communications and that is what the opposing side does in the bipartisan policy center has a web site. we have launched it and part of what is going to be as offering options and information to people to know real time what is happening and what lawmakers are championing efforts to work across the political aisle. it's that sort of thing that has got to happen in order to turn
the tide against what is occurring inside congress. >> host: i just want to mentions some of the issues you have been involved in so that the listeners and viewers know what an expert you are in process because that is critical to the breakdown. you have been a champion of reducing the debt, the fiscal sanity as you call it a champion of the balanced budget amendment. you have worked tirelessly on telecom legislation. you are the inspiration behind an effort to wire most of the country school and you have worked on headstart child support enforcement and the home heating support, the equal rights amendment, pension reform, welfare reform, family medical leave act schip violence against women act legislation on unfunded mandates and such a leader on women's health and i
think that's so impressive including the inclusion of women in ethical trials, cancer research and legislation to end discrimination by insurers against anyone on the basis of genetic information or the use of genetic testing. i think that is so incrediblincredibl e. along the path that became more challenging you became familiar with process both in the maine state legislature and then when he came here and your service in the house and then in the senate. talk a little to people, i know c-span viewers are very familiar with the process in congress but for someone who might be flipping around and you want them to know why as you seek to engage them in the country in the process and reforming the system why it's important that you talk about filibuster and amendments and open rules and why maybe we should tell people why parties avoid passing budgets. we know it's important but why
don't they do at? >> guest: what has happened in the senate most notably for three consecutive years we didn't even consider a budget legislation. i served on the budget for eight years and since 1974 there have been years in which a budget resolution has not passed the three consecutive years and this is obviously the fourth and they finally passed when the senate but the house and senate have not reconciled their differences. this is supposed to be done by april 15. statutorily congress is required to pass a budget and complete that process by april 15 and here we are, it's sort of language and they have to bargain with it. it's no wonder everything has gotten so distorted and out of whack with sequestration and the automatic cuts. major debt piling up. we have $16.8 billion national debt. we are in uncharted territories
without question and the deficits coming down. that's a temporary event. we are going to have major issues on the horizon which isn't that far down the road. all of that matters and having a budget because it gives you a framework and then the committees, the policy committees, the authorizing committees are then supposed to set to work within the confines of the numbers given in the budget resolution weather on education and transportation are health, certain numbers and then they figure out how it's going to be used in terms of the policy and dictating the policy and then of course the appropriation decides how will be apportioned. the point is none of that happens. no wonder there is a breakdown in the process. it's completely broken and when you lose discipline you lose discipline euless discipline. everything sort of falls apart and there is no order to the whole process. so we don't have a budget and that affects the appropriations
and we have some annual budgets basically. it's not, we should have biannual budgets so congress can do the oversight. that is a huge reform to have a budget for two years like states do and then you can make adjustments and do much more thorough and engaging oversight. but now they are doing six months at a time possibly for continuing resolutions and everybody pats themselves on the back and we go want a better business. yet all these programs are languishing. we would don't make a distinction on what works and what doesn't work. the debt ceiling and everything else combined that alone the long-term question on reducing the overall debt. >> host: right, and you point out in here the importance of the committees that are experts on the policy, the many
different ones at that step is so important because the money -- before the money is appropriated. when you take that step you don't engage in any policy matter. it's something you get into the habit of doing if you are passing budgets all the time. you also point out how fair has been a shorter amount of time spent on debate and amendments on the floor so then the numbers are working together and they aren't doing committee work anymore. they are not doing budgets and no longer socializing and it has led to this golf that is so wide and so discomforting. i was really fascinated by one act but in 1980 in your second year in the house jimmy carter's targeted fiscal assistance program is helping cities with higher than average unemployment. you went ahead and step up under
leaderships back and worked the system the way it was designed to be worked. you pass the amendment providing that no one takes more than 5% of the money-making the whole program fairer to smaller states but fair to everybody. it was a vote of 214-179. this is a thing that couldn't happen today. it was the way that the system was designed and it's truly an important and it does i think because i sort of got chills thinking this is the way it once was. >> guest: in the minority. it was really -- >> host: it was truly incredible. you have also the most compelling personal story which all the years i've been following you i did not know most of. it's in the book and it is such a great instruction about character and confidence and i
want everyone to know that you lost your mother to cancer when you were young and you then lost her father while you were in school. uncles and aunts taking care of you and left you as well. you lost so much. wonderful anecdotes about you becoming such a survivor and adventure are sleeping on benches and central station when you were 10 years old. losing your first husband which actually was the birth of your political career. i really enjoyed all of those descriptions and so it was obviously so material to the fact that you became a hard-working legislator but one with so much moxie as well, so much fortitude. i am interested, i also just in substance on your assessment of what happened to the debt the debt ceiling debate in 2011 and why it was such a ruse on the public that there would be a
supercommittee because they couldn't solve it and there would be a stop trigger which ended up not really being the case. they all knew it could be undone. i i am and just in thoughts about this moment. do you think there will be a budget conference? do you think there will be a grand bargain for? this is another make her great moment for government potentially this fall when the debt ceiling has to be increased. how was your level of confidence? >> guest: well you know i've been telling audiences that it's 50/50 more than last year but i'm beginning to wonder if that's even possible given the current circumstances and the time remaining to accomplish it. you know there's a certain window in the legislative process before the policy really interferes although it seems to be constantly interfering which was the difference between the congressional sessions. you could count on doing mostly legislation and everybody was
moving so in a synchronized fashion on the issues that mattered for the times especially when you had urgent and compelling issues as we do today and as we did back in 2011 and 12 and just sort of ignore them. that is why i got this book out in the publisher agreed that if we were going to have an impact in talking about what should change and what people could do to change it and weigh in now so we don't lose another two years, i mean because that puts us even closer to a very tough time period when we will be facing entitlements reversion in. we have to make those changes in a short period of time without being punitive to the people who depend on them. so can we get a grand bargain in? i discussed this with my audiences across the country a couple of times. i thought if it was possible to get a house and senate budget
conference to resolve their differences between the two maybe it was conceivable that they could design the grand bargain on the issues of the entitlement reform and taxes but i'm not so sure that's possible given the widely divergent views that are out there. the agreement has to come between the president and a group that starts in the senate and if that brings the democrats together on entitlement. >> host: i believe the viewer should know this. the budget that is past due and the congress is right now refusing to do its duty because even though the chamber passed the budget they haven't reconciled the two different versions and time is running out. while we talk about the tragedy in oklahoma, the troubles in syria that are growing worse every week and obviously now many oversight investigations into what happened at the internal revenue service and
what happened in benghazi last fall and now the issues of obamacare. that will up so much oxygen in this town is people should know that the clock is ticking on time to solve those fiscal matters and as you point out in the book so many times that great debate the debacle of 2011 created the sequestered and americans had to find out 17 months later that it was there all along and it hadn't been dealt with. all of a sudden everyone is panicking over these draconian indiscriminate cuts that will potentially walk the economy. all of a sudden members of congress were acting so surprised. see another failure which was the supercommittee because that was the alternative to come up with a plan to cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years and the automatic cuts would take place and didn't expect either side to let it happen for different reasons. of course it did. it was part of the agreement,
the new year's day agreement and of course they let it happen in the beginning of march. >> host: is a good that the sequestered happen because now can they do a sequestered in? what is the fail-safe for next time? >> guest: well it was just graham rudman and collins. it was a bad idea whose time may come. >> host: is fascinated to know where that came from because everyone was going on tv saying it was a bad idea. >> guest: he understoounderstood what it was and i thought as much as we like the automatic cuts at least we have a mechanism. >> host: you need some control. >> guest: we need discipline that obvious it doesn't exist. everyone said we could do it on our own but obviously not. that's not happening.
>> host: in the supercommittee. >> guest: they were asking the supercommittee to perform a lot of miracles in 90 days and congress hasn't been able to do it for years because they haven't put their mind to it and to put the priority in dealing with these issues. to allow the subquestion or to occur is not the amount. it's the fact that they were not making any distinctions between the prague ramzi worked and didn't so then you have the air traffic controllers. do you see the motivations? i point this out to audiences. congress reacts when they are strong reactions from their constituents. sitting on a plane that's idling on the tarmac in the pilot comes over and says sorry the air traffic control is due to budget cuts and you were sitting on that plane. i was sitting on one of those planes when it happened, so i'm just telling you i can see. you see the motivations? that's the same motivation that
constituents are saying, why and she sitting down in solving the problems? why are you in washington working on a budget? for house and the senate should appoint conferees to settle for budget question but even that isn't happening. >> host: what is your sense from your conversations around the country when you speak to voters in your former colleagues about whether or not there is any backlash from the sequester or whether or not people on the hill feel they can't go that route. do you feel like there's a feeling of remorse of hope to change the system this time? individually when you have these conversations, our people on capitol hill concerned that they can do this again. or is this quest are not so bad and people haven't noticed it? >> guest: is interesting because you will see whether they take care of individual
areas. so what does that say? some areas deserve it more than others or should they not be looking at all the programs and what gets higher funding and what gets lesser funding so there's and inequality that exists. it raises those questions in the specter of all that and that is one of the things i've gotten from my audiences. where's the fairness in that? they address one part of the sequester but not the other so that is the point here. as far as my colleagues obviously having conversations of the apparent legislation is an ethics boundary. the whole idea in my conversations from the past there is no doubt that people, a lot of my colleagues don't want to work this way. they are disappointed. they came to do something and
are surprised by the way in which especially in the senate there is a deliberate of body, you know. the house is different because it's larger. membership so they have to have some control although that is changed radically from when i was there. being a minority for 16 years in the house of representatives and never thought much about being a minority because i had opportunities. i worked with my side to become a majority on the basis of fiscal responsibility and talents budgets but we didn't champion those issues when they had the opportunity. >> host: we are actually going to get to that. i think it's interesting and i think it's a big question about whether or not republicans as they try to broaden the effort to win the national coalition they can win the white house next time, whether or not they are going to be able to fight a
medical principle which was formerly a single focus of fiscal responsibility and whether or not they are going to sort of rotten the topics of conversation. so you are right, there are forecasts about the deficit getting better but it's only in the near term so that is really something that democrats and republicans have to focus on and i want to give republicans some credit though. they are busy legislating on tax reform. it's not really in the news but i am sure you are aware that congressman dave camp in in the houston senator bachus on the senate side and others of both parties are trying to hope that there's an opportunity opportunity that presents itself. that is something that can be done quickly and it can be done by supercommittee and it can be done at the 11th hour. they are doing the work to try to hope that they can move that. i think that is really important
for frustrated americans to know because tax reform is really the gateway to solving a lot of our problems as you have written. i want to point that out on a heartening note that is something that may breakthrough after all of the focus on the politics of benghazi and the irs and doj and these other stories that are consuming so much time. your obvious he going to continue to galvanize people around the country by speaking to them. those who read your book and those who don't, about this moment, this window, the budget window for 2014. the raising of the debt ceiling and hope for tax reform and why it's so critical and to get involved so that there is something besides campaign for midterm elections going on these next few months. i think that is important that you set the window so small.
people don't realize they think president obama is just looking at his next three and a half years but they don't realize he is actually looking at such a short window before he is a lame-duck and looking for another election which is really going to be starting this fall, right? >> guest: once you get close to thanksgiving you have that opportunity for a budget because the new period begins october 1. another temporary measure goes through that exercise. a when you to a short-term measure of the budget the agency really have to work at the lower level. they can't assume that is going to be the number that will carry through for the year. i discovered for example on low-income fuel assistance directly how the consequences were brought to bear. one individual depending on that program but the agency could run
it the higher amount so she could only get a small portion and it wasn't enough to fill her tank. you see it does have consequences the way in which they operate. >> host: that is what i think your book does so well, talks about the importance of this process that people often ignore but it's so critical to problem solving and lack of problem solving. we are going to take a quick break and then we will come right back to discuss more of your book. >> host: we are back with senator olympia snowe talking about her book "fighting for common ground" we can fix the stalemate in congress.
we wouldn't be jumping into the stalemate if he didn't talk about one of the things you raise in your book which is so interesting that we mention in the first segment, the lack of focus and action on the balanced budget amendment when the republicans have the chance. he said in 2001 republicans controlled both branches of government and in retrospect you can understand why there was no attempt by republicans to take action on the balanced budget amendment and you also talked about in 2003 a stimulus package that president bush and republicans believed was acquired post-9/11 the beginning of the iraq war but obviously that was coming and how everyone knew that was going to be expensive. that there was a war on terror in afghanistan, lingering economic uncertainties and he said the administration, that
juncture in the general senate was centered on a range of stimulus between 350 billion in tax deductions and promoted a package of 674 billion in january 2003. i was shocked. i expressed support for robust short-term growth package but i expressed a concern for stimulus proposed contain too many measures that might have merit but weren't fast at the end were not going to promote growth. you were talking about how you had to enough and oppose it as it was a large unpaid for tax cut essentially. i was so taken with the similarities and parallels between the stimulus of 2009 and it begs the question the republican party talked about the changes and so much that happened in the republican party. does the republican party really support reducing the deficit or
reducing taxes because your experience with this lack of, and you have the opportunity as a party. it wasn't taken. you have always been at opponent of the balanced budget amendment. talk a little bit about whether or not fiscal sanity is the defining and unifying principle of the republican party or fettus got lost somehow in a passion and zeal to reduce taxes? >> guest: i think it was significantly diminished as the highest priority or if it was a priority at all which did surprise me. we came to the majority 94 in the house and senate. it was at the forefront and we lost it by one vote. on two different occasions and i think the last one was 97. we went full throttle on our agenda that included a balanced budget and we spent almost a month of debate on that
question. we have the presidency and the congress in early 2000's and we didn't do anything. we didn't address it and it seems it went into a different direction with respect to consistently having tax cuts. we have the largest in history in 2001 and then of course after the aftermath of 9/11 we then had 2002 because of the stimulus. in 2003 it was continuing to address the problems and the aftermath of that event. the economy was not rebounding and that is what surprised me but yes i think we moved in a different direction. at that point it was on tax cuts and it was on more social issues than it was on the question of fiscal responsibility. it was no longer the major underpinning of the republican party in a race that in my meetings. >> host: you were at the white house with president bush to use
so enjoyed and respected and he looked him in the eye and he said and majority leader bill frist was there and chief of staff andy card and vice president cheney and you said i thought we were committed to balanced budgets? we are supposed to believe in this. we don't anymore u.s. vice president cheney? you remember we were in the same congressional path. you talk about the ships, the ship of a focus on fiscal rectitude and more focus on social issues on the importance of social conservatives within the base punishing moderate psych yourself and that shift, i have a theory that the republicans are going to have a fantastic midterm in 2014 and pull the house and pick up the senate because of the implementation of the affordable care act that's going to be so messy and scare people so badly. it's going to take affect next winter with plenty of time before the midterm elections of november of that year and i
think the democrats -- democrats don't have a chance of taking 17 seats in the house and will have trouble holding onto the senate. i see a 2010/2014 parallel and very energized tea party after that 14 election which will affect 2016 until the party enough with romney and these moderates who can't win. we had a great 2014 and i'm inches in your thoughts on that. >> guest: that is not far from reality actually and definitely a possibility. you are right about the affordable care act. or obamacare. i raised the specter of the problems with the implementation when i was in the throes of all of that. i was so concerned that they should really hold back and fixx it before they let it go because there were serious problems.
even though i didn't support it that point they really should work to address the major fundamental problems with the implementation. i could see what was going to happen with that. they decided interestingly enough to move forward with it and the president thought it would dissipate and anger into the p. would dissipate and i said think it's only the beginning and i disagree with that. >> host: it was passed without any democrat or republican knowing how costs would be controlled. >> i submitted a request to the congressional budget office and the day that the bill was dropped on the floor of the senate and the end of november i sent a letter to the cbo director asking for an analysis on affordability. what were these going to cost americans and businesses because that question had not yet been
answered. i couldn't get my analysis for the abuse reasons. he apologized that he couldn't do it because he had the facility requests from the majority who basically has, is first in line so i could never get my study is a main player on the health care issue in terms of trying to get to the heart of the facts of the matter. i mentioned to the president holding back on it and building a bipartisan group and working it out on a smaller scale because there are too many problems and it's fraught with peril in its implementimplement ation will be very difficult. >> host: the story of your role in health care and the debate is fascinating and i think your readers will really enjoy all of your back and forthwith president obama which is ice constructive although he didn't take your advice and it's really illustrative of the
political tension that infused the debate and the bill writing and what happened to it and why there are so many problems now. before you move on, there is a lot about your thoughts on not only the system but your party and i wanted to ask, in your you have a fascinating mention of joshua green's 2007 piece on karl rove's plan for realignment from 2004 and in it you listed that rove had five components in which he hoped to pull democrats into the party and divide the democratic party and permanently elect republicans to a long-standing durable majority and you said that included education standards, the faith-based initiative the privatization of social security and private health care accounts and partial immigration reform. today, your party is under tremendous pressure to expand
its universe of supporters to include young people, like tino, african-american women that they lost one more time, everybody that the obama coalition contains two go after and peel off some of those voters in order to win a coalition for the white house. they do well and midterm cycle is that his older wife her males. there is pressure to acknowledge that climate change was a result of activity, and embrace marriage and something may be on guns and of course immigration reform. what is your advice about how to broaden the attempt? >> guest: president reagan was a good example. he embraced the conservative philosophy but he believes in effective and efficient government. he talked about opportunity and
how we had a responsibility to have an environment to create opportunity for individuaindividua ls to flourish and expand on their own potential. we should be about hope and the opportunity that we want for the american people to aspire to. rather it's all about negativity. it's about decimating government. frankly the government has a very important role. it should be a limited role. we need to reposition ourselves not only in terms of the language but also in terms of the policy. speak to the young people, to women and hispanics and the community. embracing an expanding and not falling into what i call an umbrella because that is where we are today. has to be based on economic policies and how to position ourselves on immigration
absolutely. and our policies in the environment where they can fulfill their strong potential. the way in which they deal even within them republican party how they handle moderates for example. what is the point because that is not appealing to somebody on the outside. how do you attract people from the outside who are calling people names on the inside? you don't accept the diversity of views. a whole group trying to build a majority and accomplish that. i was cochair of the 92 group in the house and that was to me a majority and we were off two years but we are all contribute. we knew had differences and i wasn't surprised but to have a litmus test or you can narrow your base how the expanded on the outside if you can't maintain it from within and demonstrate that you are inclusive and not exclusive?
>> host: it's interesting because in 2010 the party has been leaderless for so long and it was cleansed by movement without a leader and without that leader and even divided now on jerome policies so it's interesting to see how many have popped up. i want to focus on one of the aspects covered in your book which i think is important because i'm a woman and that is your experience as a female legislator in your state which had a lot of phenol representation more than the national norm and of course in congress he said 18% of the congress is female although you take a 15% of the national population. i love your anecdote and your data about by 2013 the total number of women serving in the house and senate ever was 296
and if you put them together in the house and chamber there would be 139 nt seats. that's pretty incredible. i wanted to cite something, there was a wonderful anecdote. i know you have gone on to establish the women's leadership institute in maine and you will be working with young girls from high school developing professional skills as well as their confidence. i love this. when you are a 26-year-old arriving to the statehouse in 1973. this senate majority leader said olympia you are probably wondering how you got here but let me tell you in six months you will be looking at the same chamber and wondering how everyone else got here. talk about the importance of confidence in being a united states senator but being a woman and how important it is to foster that in future women
leaders were business owners? >> guest: absolutely. i encourage and women to be involved and step up front frankly. i always say to graduating classes, i could never imagine that i would have been running for the united states senate when i was in your position either but you have open the possibility of doing that because it is critical to have those examples in the governing institution and all places in our society is important enough women's voices, reflective of women in our population. the second part of it is that they bring a different experience than that is also important to have that voice at the table. i encourage them to think about it as a possibility in the future. when those choices present itself and even for me as much as i'm passionate about running for public office, i was going
to come to washington uis have to go against the grain. whatever you do in life, it it is what it is then that is what i always did, go against the grain. i felt so strongly about the things that i believed then so that voice is important to fight for and it may change policy. there is a direct correlation. i love the fact that even today the women's health initiative that was spawned by the exposure that the nih was excluding women, to this day the largest study trial ever for women lifesaving discoveries for women and that is important for cause and effect to having women participate in the political process and what it from it. i think about title ix for example. in fact, i was talking about it the other day with donna brazile
as a matter of fact and she was the beneficiary. she said i love the fact you get young women who are so at this and there's no second thought about it. they are active in sports because those sports for women were treated equally. >> host: it's so fascinating how someone writes the responsibilities and rights and protections came, many of them during your four decades of service. you were there during a formative period when women younger than you may take for granted that you are witness to the changes. that is really worth women especially should read about the fights you had to wage on behalf of women. i loved also an avid about her much revered senator margaret
chaffetz who gave a speech called the decorations conscience about mccarthyism but not naming senator joe mccarthy in june of 1950 and give quote a financier and political consultant named bernard baruch who said if the man had made the decorations conscience he would have been the next president of the united states. you mention the book talking about an old friend, you said an extraordinary role model and you have known him for years because your husband and he served as governors together. >> guest: the order of which the states came into the union, that is how they set. >> host: it was so serendipitous. you are old friends and obviously colleagues and you said the united states is ready for a woman president. i have to ask you, she is obviously the great hope of the democratic party and the great hope for many women, whether or
not you want her to run or whether or not you would support her and you said you have an enduring respect for her service as secretary of state. barring whatever is wrapping her up in any benghazi excitement on the capitol hill when you look at the future and you think this country is ready, with you as the republicans said it out if she ran? >> guest: that is so far down the road to speculate about all of that but i think if hillary wanted to run she should run. she did say -- said an extraordinary example of how a woman can run for public office. that is what is important. she i think broke down that barrier single-handedly and is highly talented and capable and smart so she chooses to do that i think many women well embrace
her candidacy. i think the country is prepared to have a woman president and i think by virtue of the fact that what she is able to accomplish at that point in time did her own candidacy i think has dispelled any notion that a woman could not be a candidate and whether she can win the primary, the differences within the party on this primary but by virtue of her candidacy and how she conducted herself i think she is basically eradicated any fears about how a woman would handle herself. >> host: there are many delightful and it does he mention in the book and little nuggets for congress watchers like myself to enjoy that one of my favorites is that you divulge how frequently senators get together and help privately they nurture and mentor each other which i thought was so impressive.
something i've never known before which was quite wonderful and what an honor. i thought that is really another reason to sort it delve into here to learn not only about the way things used to be but how much women look out for each other in positions of power and how it truly bipartisan it is and the way you talk about hillary and tenant obviously your friendship that formed years ago before she was in the senate is just a unique connection i think that is very interesting. you want to tell them that there is a way out and even if it's not your term there is a path to unity and production -- a productive future for the congress, diminished
polarization in the future if some steps are taken in the meantime. you listed in the book, you have recommendations for a five day workweek, an annual budget, i'm sorry biennial budget, restoring the process of getting to a budget, a bipartisan leadership committee which is so interesting that means they have to leave the congress and get out of their own partisan leadership. no budget and no pay which means members if they are derelict in their duties will not collect their own paycheck. filibuster reform, no more secret holds on legislation and return, think this is so critical, you can't throw out an emergency supercommittee sequester bill at the last minute. everything would have to go back. and you are only one of five
senators without a leadership pac. i want to know, i'm a big believer of that myself and commissions in state legislatures to sign redistricting. i think it's important for americans to read your book especially on the chapter on all of these, the fix is in on the system so they don't know about redistricting and how few districts swing every election cycle and how 79% of us shouldn't even get in the car and vote because authority decided. i think you have all the right ideas and i wonder if you can share a little bit about the outline of your book. you have a great anecdote with congressman rick noland who left the house and is back 32 liters. where'd you get the establishment, the incumbents,
the crusty old system that might seem new blood that is so set in, where'd you get them to change? >> guest: they will find it a relief if everybody had to stand down on both sides. that is the key. any changes on campaign finance report and -- reform has to be a level playing field on both sides. that is what we had to orchestrate for mccain-feingold. it was struck down in the supreme court with citizens united but it was the evenhandedness. if both sides had to do it that is one less level of financing and raising money. think about it. in the house of representatives i think probably the majority had leadership pacs not running for leadership but it's another avenue to give money to candidates at a much higher
level than you can as an individual. the point being it's not only raising money for their own campaigns. they also have to raise this money for the leadership pacs because it's expected that you are going to raise so much money and especially if you're the chair of the committee. >> host: if you want to be a powerbroker you have to raise money and you are expected to do it. >> guest: took so much time and is another distraction. it reminded me of the honorary issue days ago when members of congress would be paid for speeches so the whole schedule would revolve around the days in which they could go and give speeches on mondays and fridays. ultimately came to the conclusion that we should ban these. it had an impact because people were back in town. doing the things they're supposed to do. there is one less level of raising money because that is a
huge time-consuming effort and not to mention a distraction. >> host: also you note in there that during the gun debate we know most offices whether they supported gun control or gun rights, the brady bloomberg giffords coalition is no match for the organization of the grassroots funding and the loudness of the government's coalition, so you had these 16, called in the sweet 16, 16 republicans who voted against a filibuster on guns and they knew they weren't going to vote with gun control coalition but they work than rights supporters. but they voted against their party and their side on process. i thought that was worth, that was an example. will they be rewarded and should they be rewarded because they
broke, they tried to clear the air and stop a filibuster? >> guest: i think that is a casework in such -- constituents were willing to have it debated on the floor and that's important. that is an important step forward and then they can discuss the policy because oftentimes that becomes the critical vote as we know and a lot of pressures imposed on senators depending on which side you are on, to vote a certain way. so yeah that should certainly be reflected because that is not an easy vote especially if they will be against the policy. sometimes you do that and that's important obviously. >> guest: it's not an easy vote. it was not easy for them to do. the national rifle association, active rebellion. we are going to close here with
what people can do and you talk in a book about how voices need to be heard. you mentioned something very important because we only usually hear about this during immigration reform and when the switchboard is shut down. he said each interaction is tracked in every office on a daily if not hourly basis so when you have the new town families, the victims families in town, when you have a photo on something public pressure can be brought to bear on either side and this idea that even though people might not know it, that they are being listened to is important. tell us when you were a senator how that works and why there can be political consequences and people need to get there. >> guest: i've been emphasizing this